When it comes to being from Texas there are a few things that I believe you have to live by. You have to love the state, embrace the state pride, enjoy a good bowl of chili and you pretty much have to love Ranch dressing. ON EVERYTHING.
Think I’m joking? We eat it with everything – on sandwiches, with pizza, sometimes with chips and salsa (although I like the salsa as-is), in burritos, on salads. I have yet to come across Ranch in a dessert, although I wouldn’t be surprised if there was one AND I wouldn’t be surprised if it tasted good.
You see, you just really can’t go wrong with this yummy Texas staple. It goes with everything!
When I was contacted to create an original sandwich idea using Hidden Valley Sandwich Spreads I was at a loss of what to make. I literally eat Ranch on just about everything, but usually it’s just a mishmash of what’s lurking in my fridge in the leftovers corner. Lo and behold, though, the idea came from one of my new favorite pastimes: watching Pixar movies.
On a mommy note, I just love animated movies and Pixar films are the best. We literally have almost every Pixar movie created on our DVR, and I even went out and purchased – in my late 20’s – Ratatouille because it just SPOKE to me. Hopefully you guys won’t run because I just said that, but I cannot tell a lie. It’s what happened.
Besides the lessons and storytelling in Ratatouille I have been obsessed with making the dish just like the movie for the longest time. It’s one of those things that’s on my to-do list that never gets to-done, but I couldn’t keep the inspiration from coming as I watched the movie last Friday. The ratatouille – it has to be made!
Before we dive into the sandwich-making I need to tell you a few things: I really truly love this product. When I first signed up I thought it sounded yummy and all, but when the product actually got to my house I was more than excited to start using it. The spreads are made with cream cheese and white beans, which makes them low fat and with 1/3 of the calories of mayonnaise and 2 grams of fat per serving. I know we are heading into the holidays where ultra-rich food is the star, but til the holiDAY actually gets here I’m still doing my best to make smart food choices.
There are 4 flavors: Smoked Bacon Ranch, Roasted Garlic Parmesan, Spicy Chipotle Pepper and Country Herb Ranch – all of which I’ve tried, loved, used up and bought more of. Seriously. I wouldn’t lie about things like ranch – it’s too important!
Now about ratatouille: it’s a traditional stewed vegetable dish with lots of earthy flavors. I thought there would be nothing better than to play off of that earthiness that using the Country Herb Ranch spread, and then add texture by using fresh tomatoes and arugula to top off the sandwich. Normally all the veggies are stewed together but I really love the texture of the raw tomatoes against the softer roasted veggies. You could certainly sub any other vegetables you love, but this is one sandwich that I’ll be making over and over again!
ROASTED RATATOUILLE RANCH HOAGIES
Makes 2 hearty sandwiches
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 1 large beefsteak tomato
- 1 cup fresh baby arugula
- 2 hoagie buns of choice
- 4 Tbsp Hidden Valley Ranch Country Ranch Spread (or more – because you’ll probably want more)
- salt, pepper, garlic powder, ground thyme
Preheat oven to 400. Wash and dry all of the vegetables, then using a sharp knife or a mandolin slice them all into rounds of even thickness. Lay all of the rounds except the tomatoes evenly on a large baking sheet sprayed with nonstick spray. Sprinkle evenly with salt, pepper, garlic powder and a few pinches of ground thyme. Spray the top with nonstick spray, then roast the rounds in the oven for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through, until caramelized and soft. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. To assemble the sandwiches spread 1 tablespoon of the Country Ranch Spread on each half of the hoagies. Layer the eggplant at the bottom, then the zucchini, then the yellow squash, then the tomato slices, and the top it all off with the arugula and the top piece of the hoagie. Serve immediately!
Hidden Valley’s line of new Sandwich Spreads & Dips will take your boring sandwich routine to another level. With new flavors like Spicy Chipotle Pepper and Oven Roasted Garlic Parmesan, your mouth will be thanking you and you’ll be on your way to delivering sandwich-envy.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hidden Valley Ranch. The opinions and text are all mine.